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NEXT YEAR I'LL BE SPECIAL by Patricia Reilly Giff


by Patricia Reilly Giff & illustrated by Marilyn Hafner

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-30903-1
Publisher: Doubleday

Marilyn lists her hopes for second grade, when mean Miss Minch will still be in first and her teacher will be smiley Miss Lark. First, Marilyn will be chosen as a helper; she'll move to the top group when someone tells her the hard words; once she gets the answers right, people will want to sit next to her and include her in their games. Marilyn's hopes are a believable mix of the real differences a wise, kind teacher can make and the kind of unrealistic dreams all children have; they're only more poignant when children, as in Marilyn's case, are less competent. An upbeat book with a valuable message that's delivered by implication. Hafner's cheerful cartoon-style illustrations depict Marilyn as animated (and almost smug) with her imagined success. (Picture book. 5-8)